[open-government] How to open up local government data

Jonathan Gray jonathan.gray at okfn.org
Wed Jul 7 19:55:24 BST 2010

Pasted below are some ideas on how to open up local government data
from Simon Rogers at the Guardian:


Simon: can we cross post these on the OKF blog?

All the best,


## 1. Make it open

No T&Cs about not using the data for commercial use, no restrictions
on access. Make the data available to anyone to do whatever they want
to with it. That's the only way that the data information revolution
is going to work.

## 2. Make it readable for computers

The data needs to be in a format that any computer can use - no more
PDFs, thank you very much. If developers can't build applications and
campaigners can't analyse it, what use is it?

## 3. Make it granular

The days when we only wanted official statisticians to just put the
numbers together in a way we could understand are gone. Now we also
want the full, disaggregated data too. It's the only way it will ever
be useful for someone wanting to gather the true local picture of
local spending. Let us worry about whether the dataset is too big or
not. It's not your problem anymore.

## 4. Make it quick

Just get the stuff out there. We'd rather have it as it is - and then
get it revised later than have to wait months for it to be finalised.
The government has provided express permission for local authorities
to do this. So just do it.

## 5. Make it easy to find

There's no point hiding this stuff away. If we can't find it, it may
as well not exist. It should be easy to discover and simple to access.

Jonathan Gray

Community Coordinator
The Open Knowledge Foundation


More information about the open-government mailing list